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House Financial Services Chair Questions Political Motives of the CFPB Director

House Financial Services Committee Chair Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) expressed concern that Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") Director Richard Cordray's political ambitions are affecting his actions as head of the Bureau.

In a letter addressed to Mr. Cordray, Mr. Hensarling asserted that news reports about the rulemaking efforts of the CFPB, particularly in relation to the "Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Loans" rule (the "Payday Rule"), suggest that Mr. Cordray's "personal political ambitions may be informing decisions [he is] making regarding what is supposed to be a nonpartisan and objective rulemaking process." Mr. Hensarling claimed that if Mr. Cordray's plan to run for Governor of Ohio has influenced the CFPB rulemaking timeline, then the Payday Rule could be susceptible to legal challenge.

Mr. Hensarling asked Mr. Cordray to provide the Committee with the following three assurances by August 30, 2017:

  • A denial that "political considerations have informed any aspect of . . . decisions, orders, and communications relating to [the Payday Rule]";

  • An assurance that "all records related to this rulemaking will be preserved"; and

  • Either a confirmation that Mr. Cordray plans to serve his "full statutory term as [CFPB] Director" or, if he does not, a confirmation of his planned resignation date.

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